For those of you not “up” on White Wolf, news is bad for the company that brought a lot of vampiness to the RP scene – some love it, some hate it, but none can deny it changed the RPG landscape profoundly.
They made a pretty big step – and many would say mis-step – in recently rebooting all their monster lines, forming the “new” World of Darkness. Then they got bought a while back by CCP, a computer game company. How does this bode for their RPG lines? Well, in a Gamasutra interview, none other than Ryan Dancey, former Great White Hope of D&D/OGL and now CCP Chief Marketing Officer, disses them pretty hard:
“Q: Can you fill me in on the status of White Wolf, the physical game company CCP acquired in Atlanta?
A: It’s just an imprint… White Wolf used to have a fairly large staff. It doesn’t anymore. It’s focusing primarily on the World of Darkness RPG products. It’s not doing some of the things it used to do; board games and other card games and things. The focus of the company [CCP] is on making MMOs and our legacy table top business is a legacy business.”
Legacy business, ow. That’s business speak for “we’re not killing them, but those bitches are going on an iron lung and there will be no reinvestment in them.”
Meanwhile, White Wolf is making some announcements of their own. They seem to be twisting in the wind a little and stepping back from their RPG business too. They want you to “explore the deepest shadows of the World of Darkness,” but specifically cite “our board games and card games and the Machiavellian surprise behind the latest Mind’s Eye power struggle.” RPGs notably absent. Which is funny because Dancey says they’re cutting the board and card games.
They’re also planning to lighten up their terrifically restrictive fan site policy, which is welcome news. And go for a digitial initiative-esque thing for you to “manage your Chronicles online,” which sounds as thrilling as everyone else’s digital initiative (which is to say, it gives me diarrhea). And a new “content management system” for their Web site, which hopefully will address how bad it is. And I don’t understand all their Camarilla stuff (it’s their fan club, like the RPGS but you have to pay) but it is clear they’re saying “OK, OK, you can play the old World of Darkness again, we get that many of you hate the new one.”
My translation: “Screw it, we’re getting old and have cashed in with this CCP deal, just leave us alone to LARP. You can’t see me! <crosses arms>”